Recommend Some Caviar

Happy Holidays everyone.

I’d like to buy some caviar - probably 100-200g range and likely Ossetra or similar. I want the real stuff and good quality – but I also don’t need the highest end. Any recommendations for good QPR caviar from a reputable source? I’m largely clueless in this realm and would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

I’ve had very solid results from Caviar Star - https://www.caviarstar.com/

Also, I personally stay away from a lot of the Chinese caviar as I find them muddy or in need of being on a dish (basically they show best when paired with other food items).

I really enjoy the paddlefish from Caviar Star and for the $ I think it’s a great value. Good results from Italian and Israeli caviar producers also.

One of the better producers: https://tsarnicoulai.com/collections/all

The Golden Imperial Osetra from Caviar Star is excellent. I did a blind taste test of it against Osetra from Israel (The Caviar Co.) and Bulgaria (Tsar Nicoulai), and it was the top pick among my friends and me. It’s produced by a Chinese company called Kaluga Queen and most of the 3 Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris serve their caviar.

Caviar Star is offering free overnight shipping on orders over $350 until 12/31. No code required.
https://www.caviarstar.com/golden-dynasty-imperial-osetra-caviar/

Costco also sells caviar and they have the lowest price per ounce which gets even better when they run a sale, which they usually do this time of year. It’ll go down from $41/oz to around $36/oz or less. Plaza is definitely not the best but it’s hard to complain at that price.
https://www.costco.com/plaza-osetra-bulgarian-sturgeon-caviar-2-oz%2c-3-pack.product.100020644.html

White sturgeon caviar is another option if you’re looking for the good stuff. I suspect that Caviar Star sells Sterling Caviar, which is an excellent producer in CA.
https://www.caviarstar.com/classic-california-white-sturgeon-caviar/

Kaluga and Siberian caviars are also considered top quality, but I’ve always preferred Osetra for its refined and mild flavor.

If you’re planning to use the caviar as a garnish on dishes, then paddlefish or hackleback are great options.

Kelley’s Katch produces paddlefish caviar that’s supposed to be some of the best, though I haven’t tried it yet.
https://kelleyskatch.com/product-category/paddlefish-caviar/

Caviar is not my thing but these folks are local to me, their product is in the farmers market, and they say they produce the only domestic true Osetra - https://thecaviarfarm.com/. I can’t imagine it being any fresher than this.

Pm’d

Its California, Sacramento area.

Tsar Nicoulai sourced their Osetra from Bulgaria at the time of my tasting in 2017. Their farm only produced white sturgeon.

Given that their website only talks about cultivating white sturgeon and they don’t have Osetra in their shop now, I doubt they’ve started raising Acipenser gueldenstaedtii.

Caviar Russe.

I order mine through Costco. The source is Plaza de Caviar. Costco are incredible. Though it looks like they are no longer selling their three packs of 2oz. Bulgarian at $60 off (which amounted to $31.xx/ ounce!) the price is still amazing.

i’m offended that you’d recommend another Chinese imported caviar company =(

I’d guess that’s this is a matter of which ones one is having. I’ve had some fantastic Chinese caviar. I went to a caviar tasting at Petrossian Bev. Hills, including some really excellent Chinese stuff. The g.m. their basically said that some of the Chinese stuff is every bit as good as any in the world. They served a Chinese (maybe Kaluga Queen) Special Reserve Kaluga Huso Hybtid that was the best of the eight in the tasting.

Yes - there are some good ones (Astrea Caviar - Grand Selection - Schrenckii) but there are also some not so good ones (China, Europe, US, etc…there are bad examples everywhere)
Liked - https://astreacaviar.com/collections/frontpage/products/n25-premium-selection-baerii-caviar
Muddy - https://astreacaviar.com/collections/frontpage/products/astrea-premier-selection-russian-oscietra-hybrid

Also - unsure how much of a batch to batch difference there is (in general, just not in Chinese producers)

Just saw this. Caviar Russe does mostly caviar from the Caspian. Really good stuff!

Illegal to import caviar that is harvested directly from the Caspian Sea into the US for sale due to the near mass extinction of the fish from wild caviar harvesting.

They are selling osetra stock that is farm raised elsewhere (China, Israel, Netherlands) but the “mother fish” is from the Caspian Sea.

Due to the labeling laws, you can call your fish Caspian osetra because the original stock was from the Caspian Sea.

So I have the 50 gram Schrenckii to serve for 4 people that I bought on Berserker Day .

Thoughts on eating it plain/straight ?
Putting on top of hot/warm sea scallops ?

Just trying to deal with dairy/gluten allergy issues .

Potato chips, unsalted or low sodium if possible.

Ok thanks .

I usually whip up some simple blinis. Plenty of dairy+gluten free versions of it online. Smoked fish is also nice

We ended up eating it plain and on top of grilled sea scallops .

It was really really really good. That being said, it was very pricey and I prefer caviar a bit more salty/fishy/briny vs the creaminess I got from the Asterea Schrenckii.

Any suggestions/recommendations??